BY POLLY HARRINGTON, GRACE ATTENDER & VOLUNTEER GRACE KIDS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
I didn’t want to do it, but I did, and along the way, I found one of God’s callings for my life. What did I do? We’ll get to that soon. First, I want to focus on those of you in my generation – baby boomers (and also some of you early Gen Xers) – those of us whose children have left the nest.
Do you remember as I do the era of your life as a parent of young children, let’s say babies through elementary age? Do you remember that time with God was rare? That time to feed your soul was measured by the minute, and the thought of an hour of dedicated worship, Scripture study, prayer and reflection time was a rare luxury? I do.
I also remember Sunday mornings getting three children under the age of 5 dressed, fed, and in the car. My husband did not attend church with us, so the responsibility was all mine. I’d like to say those were calm, serene times, but that would be a dream, not the reality. By the time we got to church, serene would not be the word I’d use to describe my state of mind. Getting three little children from the car into the building and to their rooms wasn’t easy either. I know that you know what I’m talking about, and if serene is what you remember, please contact me. I want to learn your secret as I begin to have grandchildren!
Here’s what saved me and made the effort worthwhile – knowing that there was a place for my children when I walked in the door. A place where they were welcomed and loved. A place where the adults who shepherded them and the students who played with them were calm and enthusiastic and focused on teaching my children about Jesus.
If there hadn’t been room for them, I would have cried. I would have gathered them back up and headed home with a heavy, empty heart and soul. Seriously. I needed an hour of worship – without the presence of my children – that badly. Was that your experience? Did you know other parents for whom that was their experience? Maybe yes, maybe no. But know this. There were and there are parents – single or married – who need an hour of worship – without their children – that badly.
So what did I do? Over the course of the last 10 years, I walked the path God placed in front of me – at first with reluctance, then with a sense of belonging, and finally with obedience and a firm knowledge of God’s calling. The reluctance lasted about 2 months, the sense of belonging developed about that same time. Obedience developed as I matured as a Christian, learned to recognize God’s voice, and most importantly, listened to what the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart and obeyed.
What did God say to me? Come. Stay. See the need. Learn compassion. Love. Stay longer. Pour into the parents by providing space for their children. Do it all with love and compassion. Where am I serving? Grace Kids as an Assistant Director in the infant through 48 month hallway. I see the need each and every week.
Will you join me? Will you invest your time in the current generation of parents and the next generation of Grace? Will you come? Will you stay?
Will you take a chance on finding your calling?
Just One Example
Our volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of our families. If you don't believe me, here is just one of the hundreds of stories all around Grace of a family who was loved by Grace Kids when they faced an unthinkable tragedy:
"We’ve found that structure, consistency, and familiar faces have been what we’ve needed on some of the hardest days. Grace Kids has been all of that for us and for Rhett." Read more here.
Pay It Forward
If you are like I was, reluctant to step in, I understand. But, don't let that hold you back. Say yes and give other parents/guardians a chance to come and experience God, peace in his presence, worship and more. Each week, we have dozens of opportunities for you to serve in numerous ways in Grace Kids. Here are just a few examples:
Assistant Director. Gives assistance to the director during service.
Buddy. Serves LIFT Disability Ministry children (one-on-one).
Coach. Serves by overseeing a room.
Leader. Serves by leading a small group of children.
Helper. Assists Leader with children.
Teacher. Presents bible lessons.
Serve once a month or every week. Take a chance and see what God does!
Signup to serve